Northern Rivers girl Rose Wadsworth is gutsy. Not only does she run her own design business, she also plays guitar, is front woman for a punk band and began her own feminist zine. Oh, and did I mention that she also works 9-5? In celebration of International Women’s Day, I asked Rose a few questions about her business, successes and what she gets up to for fun.
Tell me a little bit about your business Dead End Design..
“Dead End Design is my freelance name for my art and graphic design work. I started it in 2013 as a way to push myself as an artist and it’s grown from there. I work with all kinds of clients and create art and designs for a lot of different things- whether it’s a logo or a shirt design- even just a portrait of a pet! I work predominately with bands, musicians and promoters- creating live music posters, merch designs and album artwork amongst other things. My artwork style has developed and changed over the years- I often create strong bold designs influenced by western tattoo culture, but I also do a lot of stippling (dot work) and detail work, particularly a lot of portraits. I am largely a traditional artist (paper and pens and pencils) but use digital design to clean up my work and am learning more about graphic design.”
What do you find most rewarding about running a small business?
“Running a small business is hard. Especially when you’re still working a day job. You’ve really got to be passionate about it if you want to succeed. After working 9 hours as a retail store manager the last thing I want to do when I get home is sit down and do some more work. But I do it because I love it and most of the time it doesn’t even feel like work.”
“That’s the best part I think- realising that running a business or even just working in what you really truly want to do- most of the time it doesn’t actually feel like work, and for me, coming home from work and sitting down to draw is something I would be doing regardless of if I was running Dead End Design or not.”
“It’s also been rewarding working on my feminist zine called “ALL GRRRL ASSAULT: Women in Punk and Hardcore.” It’s an art zine that features portraits I’ve drawn of women who are actively involved in the punk and hardcore scenes all over the world- whether it’s as a musician, promoter, photographer or some one else contributing to the scene. There are two issues available with the third due to be released in the next month. All proceeds are donated to charities and organisations that help women. Not only has it put me in touch with so many strong inspiring women who I look up to myself, but it’s also made me feel connected to a scene that I’ve felt so isolated from for many years.”
What is your number one tip for other young entrepreneurs entering the world of business?
“Work hard and don’t give up. Nothing comes easy. It may seem like everyone else is succeeding and you have fallen behind, but this is when you need to push through and keep at it. I often get disheartened when I see all of these amazing artists, how much they’re creating and who they work with and wonder how the hell I’ll ever get to their level. But the wonders of social media only expose us often to the successes in someone’s life. All of these artists I look up to have their own struggles and baffles and most of them actually are in the same situation as me, working full time and using what little spare time they have to create and push their artistic career. So I guess that’s my second bit of advice, not to be seduced by social media too much. Use it to your advantage to share your business and network, but don’t get too involved and definitely don’t compare yourself to other people in your field, only be inspired by them.”
You are one busy lady! What do you get up to in your spare time?
“Apart from drawing, my other main interests are music and horror movies. I grew up watching 80s slasher franchises and something just keeps drawing me into the horror genre (which is somewhat reflected in some of my art). I’ve been playing in bands for the last four or five years, I currently do vocals for a hardcore punk band called Masochist. So a lot of my spare time is spent going to and playing shows.”
You can check out Rose’s Dead End Design work on Instagram and Facebook. If you’d like your own copy of Rose’s incredible zine, purchase Issue 1 and 2 of ALL GRRRL ASSAULT on big cartel. And while you’re at it, give Masochist some lovin– stay tuned for an upcoming EP too. Want to tell Rose she’s a legend? No problem! Email all Dead End Design enquiries through to firstname.lastname@example.org